The state of California sets out strict guidelines for the legal behavior of telemarketers. These individuals must adhere to these regulations or they could face prosecution under California Business and Professions Code Section 17511.9: Telemarketing Fraud.
You can learn more about different aspects of telemarketing fraud right here. The legal professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you focus on the repercussions for a BPC 17511.9 conviction as well as possible legal defenses.
The Legal Definition of Telemarketing Fraud in California
Telemarketing fraud in California is specifically defined under BPC 17511.9. This code allows the court system in California to bring criminal charges against any persons who commit this form of fraud, including:
- Agents or Representatives of a Seller OR
- Independent Contractors
BPC 17511.9 charges may be brought against these individuals if they attempt to commit fraud with:
- A Scheme Carried Out Over the Telephone Involving the Sale of a Product or Service OR
- A Fraudulent or Deceitful Business Practice or Act Over the Telephone Involving Sales
Note that individuals should not face criminal charges for telemarketing itself. Fraudulent acts must occur for a BPC 17511.9 charge to apply.
Defining Fraud in the State of California
All BPC 17511.9 violations involve an act of fraud. Fraud has a specific definition of its own in California. Fraud involves using deceit or trickery to take money or property of value from another individual.
Note that, in many ways, telemarketing fraud can resemble wire fraud. Wire fraud can involve fraudulent acts involving the use of telephone communications, television communications, and some forms of online communication.
Examples of Telemarketing Fraud in California
Focus on learning more about telemarketing fraud by going over these simple examples:
Man A sets up a robocalling device that plays an automatic message offering people credit protection if they provide their social security information and bank account number. A few people fall for this ploy and he sets up credit cards in their name while emptying their bank accounts. He could be charged with telemarketing fraud and identity theft in California.
Man B gets angry at his ex-girlfriend. He works for a telemarketing agency and begins calling her at all hours, leaving her threatening messages. However, he is not committing any fraudulent act, so he should not be charged under BPC 17511.9. He could face other charges, including those covered under California Penal Code Section 653(m): Annoying Phone Calls.
Man C is working as an agent to sell products. He makes many calls every day to try to get people to buy the product. However, sometimes he takes their credit card information without planning to send them the goods they have ordered. Instead, he uses the credit card information to make other purchases. He could be convicted for telemarketing fraud.
The Penalties for a Telemarketing Fraud Conviction
Fraudulent acts in California are generally punished very harshly, and telemarketing fraud is no exception to this rule. The court system can actually prosecute telemarketing fraud as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The penalties for these charges can include:
Misdemeanor Telemarketing Fraud Penalties
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Prison Time: Up to One Year
Felony Telemarketing Fraud Penalties
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Jail Time: Up to Three Years
Note that the fines for telemarketing fraud apply for each criminal transaction. This means that fines can quickly become incredibly severe in telemarketing fraud cases.
Possible Defenses for Telemarketing Fraud Charges in California
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you build a defense if you are accused of telemarketing fraud. This charge can be very difficult to beat on your own. Allow a legal professional to begin building your defense now. Depending on your situation, a lawyer could argue:
You Weren’t Committing Fraud
Telemarketing on its own is not an illegal act in California. You are allowed to call people to try to sell them a good or a service. Unless you were attempting to engage in some form of fraudulent activity involving sales over the telephone, you may be able to avoid a conviction under BPC 17511.9.
Contact a Lawyer for Help Handling Telemarketing Fraud Charges
The court system can harshly punish individuals accused of California Business and Professions Code Section 17511.9: Telemarketing Fraud. The Simmrin Law Group can help you stand up to these charges. You can speak with our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles now to get answers about your situation with a FREE initial case evaluation.
Get ready to build your defense by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 896-2723.